In almost every country in the world, taxes have served as a means for countries to progress in socially, financially and also provide infrastructure for its citizens. It is however important for every country to have a proper taxation system and also educate its citizens on taxation, reasons to pay their taxes and the importance of taxes. This article aims to discuss tax education in Nigeria.
What is Tax?
Tax can be described as any contribution imposed by the government upon individuals, for the use and service of the state, under different names, such as: toll, tribute, gable, impost, duty, custom excise, subsidy, aid, supply among others. Income tax is one the most important means of revenue for the Nigerian government. Its serves as a source of income for both the federal and state budgets. In other words, the taxes collected are used to provide social amenities for citizens. Personal Income Tax is regulated by the Personal Income Tax Act of 1993 as adopted by the Laws of The Federation of Nigeria 2014 Cap P8.
Tax Education in Nigeria
According to UNESCO’s National Programme Adviser on Education, Dr Mohammed Alkali, the results of a UNESCO survey showed that despite improvements to the country’s education system, 65 million Nigerians remain illiterate. It is imperative to draw out from the statistic that the level of illiteracy in Nigeria, even for 2015 is at an alarming rate. It can also be noted that even among the 100 million plus people who are “literates”, only a handful of people probably have proper knowledge about what tax is and its importance to the Nigerian system. For example, how many people know about the personal income tax (which is defined as a tax payable by all individuals and registered businesses and partnerships except those registered under Part A of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990) or its importance to the revenue of the country? Again, only a select few.
Tax education in Nigeria, is at a very poor rate because even the law guiding Income tax is prejudice to the plights of the masses. The government has been unable to create a well detailed system for the enlightenment of citizens and also a proper means of enforcing taxation to ensure payment by the majority of citizens.
Taxes are crucial to the advancement of any country, being one of its most important means of revenue. The Nigerian government at all levels needs to do more to enhance tax awareness while also showing proper management of revenue raised through taxation in order to encourage citizens to continue to pay taxes.